GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Overcrowding concerns across the Greencastle-Antrim School District have resurrected a middle school/high school building project shelved in 2011.
“We’re moving forward,” said Schools Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover after a school board meeting Thursday.
“EI is our architect. We had paused the project. But, we are now officially moving forward,” Hoover said.
The Greencastle-Antrim School Board voted 8-0 for EI Associates of Harrisburg, Pa., to move forward with information gathering for the project, which will cost the district $1,500.
Board member William Thorne did not attend the meeting.
Board member Michael Still said he thought EI Associates was not charging for the information gathering.
The district paid EI Associates $500,000 for the work they have previously completed on the building project.
“I think they (EI Associates) are being generous,” board member Tracy Baer said. “We put them on hold for two years, and now they are going back and redoing what we asked them to do three years ago.”
Board President Brian Hissong agreed with Baer, noting that the information gathering includes travel, renderings and presentations.
The board also approved, by a vote of 6-2, a proposal for EI Associates to submit a Project LEED grant. The district will pay EI Associates $8,500 to prepare the grant paperwork.
Before voting, the board debated the merits of spending $8,500 to apply for the $2 million LEED grant.
Still argued that the district could complete an energy-efficient building without spending the money to have a LEED-certified project.
The main benefit of being a LEED building is to gain state reimbursement, Hoover said.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Still said there’s no guarantee that the district will get the grant or reimbursement from the state.
“It’s an $8,500 gamble,” Still said.
Still and board member Kenneth Haines cast the dissenting votes.
Hoover said a time line for the project will be established soon.
“I would expect by 2016 we would start digging,” Hoover said, referring to when the district’s debt service ends and the district will have approximately $2 million to reinvest into the building project.
“Once they start building you have to start paying,” Hoover said.
However, he said something will have to be done now to make provisions for the district’s overcrowding.